‘Freeze on only one account’

  • Nation
  • Friday, 05 Jul 2019

Dr Wee: ‘The account involved is only a small portion of several loan schemes provided by Kojadi.’

KUALA LUMPUR: The freezing of one of the accounts of Koperasi Jayadiri Malaysia Bhd (Kojadi) will not jeopardise the cooperative’s operations, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The MCA president, who read the notice issued by the Kojadi board yesterday, said the specific account that has RM8mil in it was meant for the RM15mil grant given to Kojadi by Yayasan 1MDB in 2012 to provide microcredit for youth.

“The account involved is only a small portion of several loan schemes provided by Kojadi.

“Not all of Kojadi’s accounts were frozen. The freezing of the account does not affect the operations of the cooperative.

“The other loan schemes for SMEs and education will go on as usual,” he told a press conference at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

For now, Dr Wee noted that the Kojadi board will keep consulting the legal team to facilitate the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

It was reported that MACC froze the account under Kojadi for the next 90 days. This follows MACC’s recent filing of civil forfeiture suits to recover funds linked to the controversial 1Malay­sia Develop­ment Bhd (1MDB).

Kojadi was formed by MCA in 1981 to provide student loans for higher education.

Dr Wee questioned how the money Kojadi had received from Yayasan 1MDB was considered illegal when RM1.03mil was paid as income tax.

He said he was briefed on this by Kojadi chairman Ng Peng Hay on Dec 12, 2018.

“If it paid taxes, how is the fund illegal?” Dr Wee asked.

He said what happened to the Kojadi account was the first in history involving funds from Yayasan 1MDB.

“This has nothing to do with money from SRC International Sdn Bhd or Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s accounts,” he said, adding that concerns of “selective persecution” may arise as funds from the foundation have benefited many people and groups.

“What will happen to the other recipients? The over 57,000 taxi drivers, thousands who have performed haj in Mecca, farmers, top-performing students from private and public secondary schools and many others?

“Will they be the next target of the investigation? In the spirit of a fair probe, I think MACC should state its stance clearly,” he added.

Asked if the Kojadi board had suggested any action against Ng, Dr Wee said he had no right to decide on the matter since he is not a board member.

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